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COURAGE READINGS

Facing Fear
From Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel © 1971, 1972 by Arnold Lobel

 Frog and Toad were reading a book together.
"The people in this book are brave," said Toad.
"They fight dragons and giants, and they are never afraid."
"I wonder if we are brave," said Frog.
Frog and Toad looked into a mirror.
"We look brave," said Frog.
"Yes, but are we?" asked Toad.
Frog and Toad went outside.
"We can try to climb this mountain," said Frog. "That should tell us if we are brave."
Frog went leaping over rocks, and Toad came puffing up behind him.
They came to a dark cave.
A big snake came out of the cave.
"Hello lunch," said the snake when he saw Frog and Toad.
He opened his wide mouth.
Frog and Toad jumped away.
Toad was shaking.
"I am not afraid!" he cried.
They climbed higher and they heard a loud noise.
Many large stones were rolling down the mountain.
"It's an avalanche!" cried Toad.
Frog and Toad jumped away.
Frog was trembling.
"I am not afraid!" he shouted.
They came to the top of the mountain.
The shadow of a hawk fell over them.
Frog and Toad jumped under a rock.
The hawk flew away.
"We are not afraid!" screamed Frog and Toad at the same time.
Then they ran down the mountain very fast.
They ran past the place where they saw the avalanche.
They ran past the place where they saw the snake.
They ran all the way to Toad's house.
"Frog, I am glad to have a brave friend like you," said Toad.
He jumped into the bed and pulled the covers over his head.
"And I am happy to know a brave person like you, Toad," said Frog.
He jumped into the closet and shut the door.
Toad stayed in the bed, and Frog stayed in the closet.
They stayed there for a long time, just feeling brave together.


I Whistle a Happy Tune
© 1951 by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

 Whenever I feel afraid
I hold my head erect
And whistle a happy tune
So no one will suspect I'm afraid.

While shivering in my shoes
I strike a careless pose
And whistle a happy tune
And no one ever knows I'm afraid.

The result of this deception is very strange to tell
For when I fool the people I fear, I fool myself as well!

I whistle a happy tune
And every single time
The happiness in the tune
Convinces me that I'm not afraid.

Make believe you're brave
And the trip will take you far
You may be as brave as you make believe you are.
You may be as brave as you make believe you are.


The Philosopher Epictetus
Full Text

The essence of good and evil lies in an attitude of the will…

There are things which are within your power, and there are things which are beyond your power. Within your power are opinion, aim, desire, aversion, in a word whatever affairs are your own. Beyond your power are body, property, reputation, office, in a word affairs not properly your own. Concern yourself only with what is within your power.

The essence of good consists in things within your own power; with them there is no room for envy or emulation. For your part, do not desire to be a general, or a senator or a consul, but to be free; and the only way to do this is a disregard of things which do not lie within your own power.